05 November 2019
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10 ways to save money with the right fastener

The price of an engineered fastener is only part of the equation.

Some people in the engineering Industry only look at the price of an engineered fastener. Design engineers need to choose the fastener that delivers the best lifetime value. It’s all about balancing the price of the part, time to assemble and maintenance costs, then factoring in the reliability of the supplier and end to end technical support.

Designing in value delivers significant and sometimes surprising returns on investment. Here are 10 examples where the right fastener delivered value.

1. Weighing up the benefits

Lighter is better in a wide range of products and design engineers want to make the most of these benefits, but lighter components may be flimsy and need more fasteners. They are also more prone to vibration. Design engineers use fasteners in innovative ways to overcome these challenges.

For example, a bus builder used Fastmount clips – usually found in ocean going yachts – to attach slim, lightweight internal panels. They cut the overall vehicle weight, stop the panels rattling and provide easy access for maintenance.

2. Engineered fasteners making it easier

Assembly can be quicker and cheaper when you use the right fasteners. For instance, Fir Tree Fasteners are quick and easy to use and require no special tools.

An automotive company had to fix a part to an engine beauty cover. Instead of the original three Push Nuts the design engineer designed a single three-point Push Nut, which was manufactured by JET PRESS, cutting assembly time.

An auto engine builder used seven different Cable and Hose Fasteners on a single engine, each required a separate tool. JET PRESS designed a single tool with seven interchangeable heads, delivering a lower initial outlay and a faster assembly process.

3. Outsource the hassle

Savings in a complex civil engineering project were achieved when design engineers worked with JET PRESS to design a bespoke Cable Management Fastener that allows cables to be added as the system is constructed. Swivel Clip Systems and other similar components can be pre-assembled, reducing assembly time and on-site labour costs.

4. Maintaining the bottom line

Whatever you design will have to be maintained. Specifying the right fastener will save maintenance costs. Larger machines are often protected with heavy guards. Mounting these on linear slides makes moving the guards easier.

Smaller maintenance panels are often screwed in place. A screw takes time to unscrew. It can get lost. It might even be dropped into the machine. A bolt retainer will stop the screw from getting lost, but a Bi-Fix Quarter Turn Fastener gives instant access and security.

5. Getting it out in the open

Time taken to get at key items like pumps and compressors in vehicles is also costly. Saving can be made here by mounting kit like this on Heavy Duty Accuride Slides. Combining an Accuride 9301 Heavy Duty Drawer Slide with a 9308 with a lever creates a mounting that locks in and out.

6. Nobody wants a burst pipe

Edge Fixing Clips are popular with designers for securing cables, pipes and hoses. They’re easy to use and cost effective. But problems can arise when there is movement or vibration and the edge of the clip chafes against the cable, pipe or hose it retains. A flared clip reduces chaffing as the edge of the clip is angled away from the pipe.

7. Cut your inventory costs

Manufactures have to stock parts so production isn’t interrupted. But the more inventory lines they carry the more cash is tied up in fasteners. And it takes time to manage a complex inventory.

Some fasteners can be used for multiple applications. For instance, Multifit Edge Clips from JET PRESS fit a range of panel thicknesses.

8. Make a big problem into a small one

The furniture designer for a fast food chain specified Fastmount fasteners instead of glue to assemble chairs. Assembly time was cut from 45 minutes to 15 as were costs.

Then, when part of a chair is damaged or worn, instead returning the whole chair, restaurant staff order the damaged part, unclip the old one and attach the new one.

9. More furniture savings

If furniture is delivered with legs or feet that have to be screwed in, there is a risk the customer may make a mistake when screwing in the T-Nut. When the customer then sits on the sofa the T-Nut is forced out of the frame and the sofa has to be returned or replaced – a big expense.

Designers at one company replaced T-Nuts with Rivet T-Nuts from Sigma inserted using a Rivet T-Nut Machine, supplied and maintained by JET PRESS. Rivet T-Nuts have a lead in that makes it easier for the customer to get it right. It’s almost impossible to force the Rivet T-Nut out. Savings on returns easily pay for the investment.

10. Don’t replace it fix it

Do you go camping? Have a caravan with an awning? Or have a jacket or boots with a zip? Zips breaking is bad news. Especially if it’s the first day of your holiday or the jacket is your favourite.

In most cases it’s not the zip that breaks, it’s the zip pull. ZlideOn Zip Repair kits allow you to replace the pull and fix the zip. This allows you to carry on with your holiday or give that jacket a new lease of life.

Tom Austin-Morgan

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Jet Press Ltd

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